Mt. Antero Trip #1 Report
August 10-11, 2002

by Bob Loeffler

On Saturday morning, I met Dave Mullen and his son Nick just outside of Denver and we began our caravan towards Antero. I drove Nick up to base camp while Dave waited for 2 of our newest members, the Sturtz brothers, at the base of Antero. (Our caravan arrived at the meeting place an hour early.)

After several others arrived at base camp, we all drove up the south knob of Antero where we met Brian Busse and his workers. They were digging and screening for blue beryl and aquamarines near the top of the famous "snowpatch" area, which didn't have snow or ice for the first time in forever. They told us that we could dig pretty much anywhere except directly below others. We all picked places to dig or surface collect. A few small smokies and etched aquamarine crystals were found, but nothing outstanding, so several of us moved to an area further down where the edge of the snowpatch used to be.

Two of our members found a seam of blue beryl, so others started "helping" them dig it. Pretty soon, there were 10 of us helping! We worked on that seam for 2 days and formed a 10 - 20 ft bench. Everyone found some aquamarines, albeit on the small side. One person found a red-colored, twinned crystal that reminded me of dogtooth calcite, although both crystals were more flattened than scalenohedral. Whatever it was, it was a keeper! Halfway through the day we met Craig Cardwell, the owner of most of the claims up there. He and Brian were very cordial and were filming a video that will document collecting on Antero. I heard that someone found a fluorite with a crystal (smoky or aqua) going right through it, but I didn't see it. Bits of purple and green fluorite were also found. I found several tiny bertrandite crystals, but none of them survived the trip back to Denver.

In years past, we have had hail during the day and frost/snow when we woke up in the morning. But on this trip, the weather was perfect during the days and not too cold at night. There were approximately 15 people from several clubs, so I won't attempt at writing who attended. We would like to thank the Cardwells and Mr. Busse for a fun, yet exhausting trip.

Editor's Note: Much of Antero (especially the south knob) is claimed by the Cardwell family. Please contact them via e-mail if you would like to dig on any of their claims.